The article comments on the Communist Party of France (PCF) in 1956, particularly its leaders' attitude towards Khrushchev's de-Stalinisation and his 'paper on the personality cult and its implications' which was read at the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in February 1956. Initially, the essay describes the PCF General Secretary Thorez's success in maintaining a Stalinist policy even after Stalin's death in 1953. Further it concentrates on the party's election success in 1956 and its participation in the XX Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It describes familiarisation of the French delegation with Khrushchev's secret paper and analyses the official party interpretation of the XX Congress which was reflected at the XIV Congress of PCF in July 1956. There is a comment on the role and form of Khrushchev's paper in an intraparty discussion at the time when the PCF leaders were officially denying its existence and a contrast between Thorez's and the Italian Communist Party Secretary Togliatti's attitudes. A reaction of the PCF leaders to the publication of Khrushchev's paper in a newspaper in June 1956 is described in the next chapter. The final chapter explains how the PCF officially rejected Stalinism in the 70s.
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